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5 Ways to Forgive A Sibling

by Tai Ikomi  
1/14/2016 / Christian Living

Who has not been hurt by a sibling? Rarely do we escape harm inflicted by our brothers and sisters! It is definitely not a new phenomenon! There are precedents in Scriptures that have been written to help us walk the godly path the Lord has designed for us.

Joseph is an example we can take to heart.

After about thirteen years in slavery Joseph was promoted to the position of prime minister in Egypt after interpreting the Pharaoh's twin dreams. Nine years later, famine forced his brothers to come to Egypt, where they came face to face with their baby brother, who was then serving as the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph treated them graciously and asked them to bring their father and their whole family to come and live in Egypt with him. He forgave his siblings. Let us take a closer look.

1. He did not focus on the past
Joseph could forgive because did not keep on focusing on the past or on the years of pain and hopelessness he experienced. If he had done so, he would not have been able to forgive. That was his secret and it could be ours too.

To forgive our siblings we must put the past away. Some things are best forgotten or dropped rather than poking or revisiting them. We drop charges out of compassion and understanding. If we find this difficult we can ask for God's help.

2. Joseph did not need any evidence of repentance to forgive

Joseph did not forgive based on evidence that his brothers were indeed remorseful. He did not insist on an apology before he forgave them. Instead, his forgiveness was based on God's word. Some will never apologize for reasons known only to them. But if they apologize, that's great, and if they do not, we can still extend the hand of forgiveness in spite of their past actions and lack of remorse.

3. Joseph wanted them to know he had forgiven them

Joseph was more than eager to show his siblings that he had forgiven them. After the death of their father, his brothers sent a message to him that their father had requested that he not punish them. Apparently, they were suspicious of the sincerity of Joseph's forgiveness.

"And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him" (Genesis 50:16, 17).

Emotions were raw on both sides. The brothers appealed to the blood that flowed in all their veins. We are your brothers, they said. We are bone of the same bone. We are from the same father. Remember that and forgive us.

Indeed, the approach Joseph's brothers asked him to take is a good way to look at our own siblings. They are our blood. We share the same parent or parents, or perhaps the same grandparent or grandparents, in which case they are our cousins. Allow your compassion to flow freely.

Joseph too was moved by this appeal and he was touched.

"Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them" (Ge 50:21).

4. Joseph saw things from God's angle
Joseph saw the spiritual side. He recognized the handwriting of God on the wall. Things were leading to a crescendo, leading Joseph to his destiny. You too have to believe God that He will turn things around for your benefit. Joseph had become the prime minister of Egypt, and he was a force to be reckoned with in his day. God has the same plans for you, good and not evil plans.

5. Joseph saw the good that came out of it
We too must look at the benefits that came out of the evil our siblings did to us. Perhaps undergoing these trials has made you stronger or less gullible. Perhaps this undesirable situation even helped you find your mission in life.

Joseph forgave his siblings and so should we. If Joseph, an imperfect human, was able to do this, so can we (Leviticus 19:18).

In conclusion, forgiveness can be demonstrative. We first find a reason to forgive, then we actually forgive and give evidence for the actions we have taken. God has allowed the lives of people in Scriptures to be recorded for us so that we too can learn from the various ways forgiveness takes place. We find a reason to forgive our siblings, we forgive, and we demonstrate to them that we have let go (Romans 15:4).

Dr. Tai Ikomi is an author of over 30 books .and a conference speaker. She gives seminars on the Names of God and forgiveness after forgiving the drunk man who killed her entire family. She is the founder of Forgiveness Discipleship.

Dr. Tai Ikomi
[email protected]

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